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What's New on the Secular Web?



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January 30, 2011

New in the Kiosk: Vestigial Structures (2011) by Craig Gosling

Do vestigial organs exist? Answers in Genesis says no. Craig Gosling says yes. Who is right? Does it matter? What is the significance of vestigial organs if they do exist?

January 24, 2011

New in the Bookstore: The Atheist's Creed (2010) by Michael Palmer, Ph.D.

While the so-called 'new atheism' has attracted considerable publicity, it is the philosophical arguments that have been presented down through the ages that provide the principal landmarks in the unfolding and increasingly widespread belief that no God exists. Using extracts, detailed introductions, biographies, and extensive bibliographies, Palmer guides us through the history of atheism from the time of the early Greeks to the present day. Particular attention is given to the writings of Hume, Nietzsche, Marx and Freud. The result is a compelling and powerful assessment of the case for atheism, which will be fascinating reading for student and nonstudent alike, as well as for all those concerned with the fundamental question: whether or not there is a God.

January 10, 2011

New in the Kiosk: William Lane Craig and Human Suffering (2011) by Brian Vroman

In 1984, Josef Fritzl lured his teenage daughter, Elisabeth—whom he had already abused on previous occasions—into the basement of the family home. What Elisabeth did not know was that her father had converted the basement into a dungeon, in which Elisabeth would be confined for the next twenty-four years. During this period, Fritzl raped his daughter on numerous occasions, and Elisabeth gave birth to seven children, some of whom never saw the light of day until they were rescued many years later. How might a Christian apologist such as William Lane Craig explain the suffering of Elisabeth Fritzl and her children? What we will see is that Dr. Craig's attempts to explain evil and human suffering in conjunction with the existence of the traditional God of theism fall far short of meeting their mark.

January 8, 2011

Added Why Religion is Persuasive: How Religious Rhetoric Taps into Intuitions Underlying Religious Thought (2011) by Adam Lewis to the Psychology of Religion page under Theism in the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.

Many of our intuitions were not cobbled together by evolution for discerning truth, but for building approximations of reality that were useful to our ancestors. A number of skewed ways of thinking are well known to psychologists. Just as human beings are biologically "prewired" to learn language from their social environment, thinking in terms of the supernatural may also be inborn. Our biases might therefore explain why empirically vacuous claims about gods, souls, afterlives, and so on are rhetorically effective: they fit well with people's prescientific intuitions. In this paper Adam Lewis explores how these intuitions shape beliefs about gods as supernatural agents, drawing on examples from the Koran, before finally considering their impact on beliefs about the soul and related afterlife beliefs.


 


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